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When Joseph Kony almost came in from the cold: Juba peace talks (+video)

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“That one is not true,” Kony said of the allegations that his troops mutilated children. “That is the propaganda which Museveni made. That thing was happening in Uganda. Museveni, he went into the village, and he cuts the ear of people, and he tells the people that thing was done by the LRA.”

But just a few months later, Kony’s own deputies met up with Mr. Museveni’s delegates for peace talks in Juba. Museveni announced that his government would grant Kony and his top commanders amnesty and shield them from arrest warrants of the International Criminal Court.

But Kony never came out of the bush. Instead he sent two deputies, Vincent Otti and Martin Ojul, along with a group of camouflage-clad functionaries.

In Juba, South Sudan's Salva Kiir – who was also Sudan’s vice president under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement with Khartoum – told reporters in June, "When we start to talk with Kony and the Government of Uganda, in a very short time, we will bring peace to northern Uganda and by that we would also bring peace to southern Sudan."

The talks started off well. In late August 2006, the LRA and Ugandan government agreed to a cease-fire, and LRA commanders agreed to withdraw from Uganda into southern Sudan and to remain in displacement camps protected by the South Sudanese government. But by late September, the LRA team walked out of peace talks, accusing Ugandan forces of attacking an LRA camp. Another truce was signed in November 2006.

It was a pattern that would repeat itself over the next 18 months: Talks, military incidents, recriminations, reconciliation, and talks again.

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